For the intercessor called by God, it's very important to spend time examining themselves regularly to see if there's hindrances in their lives that would block their prayers. It's of no use to continue on any further with any specific intercessions until you know your standing right before the Lord again, and able to petition Him on any matter with no blockages. Why waste your time and energy? At this stage of my life, I've learned well that it's worth it to get all hindrances out of the way-in order to be a useful force in prayer for God, and against the devil.
In this blog, I'll use IPeter chapter verses 3:7-13 and expound on them.
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
The B.W. Johnson commentary gives insight into this verse:
Ye husbands. Duties of Christian husbands are now briefly stated. They are to dwell with their wives. The fact that their wives are unconverted is no ground for separation, but if the wife is converted, still stronger is the bond.
According to knowledge. A knowledge that shows judgment, moderation and gentleness as toward one weaker than himself.
Joint heirs. Hence "one in Christ Jesus." The home life is to be regulated according to knowledge.
That your prayers be not hindered. Mutual prayer is not possible unless there is mutual love and forbearance. Nor can the husband's prayers be acceptable unless he treats his wife aright.
If a man who is married desires to have right standing with God in his daily life, and know his prayers and petitions before Him will be heard-it's necessary for him to align himself with this verse, and if he's having trouble; the one prayer that God will hear is for him to ask for help in his relationship with his wife. This is where his prayer life needs to start.
But, it is also the same for the woman. You'll not find any success on a deeper level in prayer-until you back up, and read the verses in IPeter ch. 3 from verses 1-6, and apply them to your life. If your living in sin, fornicating outside of marriage, committing adultery, are unfaithful in your marriage, not attending to your home-life as a wife should, dressing immodestly, advertising yourself in a sexual manner-your prayers aren't going any further than the ceiling.
If you are in an abusive relationship with a man who has hit you, your kids, or has abusive behaviors he can't control, you may have to leave him. God can give you help in knowing what to do-pray, and seek help. Don't stay in a dangerous situation, and live in fear for yourself or your children. God can change the situation, and He can answer your prayers for your husband if he's out of control, but you don't have to remain in a relationship and be in fear.
I'm speaking from my own experiences. I've lived through these kinds of troubles, and I've seen God answer me and change situations that seemed to have no solutions. I've watched him change people, my husband, and situations. But it didn't always happen overnight, sometimes it took years of praying and asking God what I needed to do to see those answers come. When I did what I was given by the Lord in prayer-I saw answers come.
It's the same when praying for nations, communities, and other people's problems. God gives called intercessor's specific people, areas, and nations to pray for, and gives details to help in those prayers-and many times it takes years to see the results of our intercession-but I've seen enough proof and specific answers to be convinced beyond doubt that God does indeed hear and answer the prayers of his servants-who are serious in their callings.
When prayers aren't answered, you need to examine yourself in the light of God's Word. If you find in yourself anything that's not pleasing to God, confess it, ask God for forgiveness, and help to change. This is where it must start, before any further prayers will be heard or answered from the Throne. If you can't be honest with yourself and God in this area-nothing will change.
God loves you, and your spouse-He knows many details about both of your lives, that you do not. He gives wisdom and direction to those who ask him in faith, believing. I say this also from experience. Whatever your problem in your marriage, He has the answer-if you seek Him, you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart.
1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
The JFB commentary gives these insights to this verse:
of one mind — as to the faith.
having compassion one of another — Greek, “sympathizing” in the joy and sorrow of others.
love as brethren — Greek, “loving the brethren.”
pitiful — towards the afflicted.
courteous — genuine Christian politeness; not the tinsel of the world’s politeness; stamped with unfeigned love on one side, and humility on the other. But the oldest manuscripts read, “humble-minded.” It is slightly different from “humble,” in that it marks a conscious effort to be truly humble.
1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
1Pe 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
The Adam Clarke commentary gives a wonderful overview of these texts:
Not rendering evil for evil - Purposing, saying, doing nothing but good; and invariably returning good for evil.
Ye are thereunto called - This is your calling - your business in life, to do good, and to do good for evil, and to implore God’s blessing even on your worst enemies. And this is not only your duty, but your interest; for in so doing you shall obtain God’s blessing, even life for evermore.
For he that will love life - Refer to- Psa_34:12-16, He who wishes to live long and prosperously, must act as he is here directed.
1. He must refrain from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering.
2. He must avoid flattery and fair speeches, which cover hypocritical or wicked intentions.
3. He must avoid evil, keep going away εκκλινατω, from evil.
4. He must do good; he must walk in the way of righteousness.
5. He must live peaceably with all men; seek peace where it has been lost; restore it where it has been broken; and pursue it where it seems to be flying away.
He who lives thus must live happy in himself. And as excess in action and passion always tends to the shortening of life, and nothing preys on the constitution more than disorderly passions, he must live not only happiest but longest who avoids them.
It is an edifying story that is told in the book Mussar, chap. 1., quoted by Rosenmuller: “A certain person, travelling through the city, continued to call out, Who wants the elixir of life? The daughter of Rabbi Joda heard him, and told her father. He said, Call the man in. When he came in, the rabbi said, What is that elixir of life thou sellest? He answered, Is it not written, What man is he that loveth life, and desireth to see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile? This is the elixir of life, and is found in the mouth of man.”
1Pe 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
The B.W. Johnson commentary gives this assistance in understanding these texts:
Peter enjoins good deeds for evil, and blessing for reviling, because any other course would be inconsistent with the Christian calling. Called to a heritage of blessing they must live lives of blessing, for "as a man soweth so also shall he reap."
For. If you desire to inherit blessing, you must abstain from evil. The conditions are stated by the Psalmist, Psa 34:13-17, from which the next three verses are quoted.
The eyes of the Lord. He ceases not to regard his righteous servants.
The ears. He not only sees, but hears when they cry to him.
But his face. Is turned in displeasure upon evil doers.
Now, in verse 12 it tells us the Lord's eyes are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers. Who is righteous in God's eye's? No one, in themselves. The only one who God sees as righteous is one who has confessed their sins, repented, and opened their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, and received His gift of salvation. One who is now standing covered in the precious blood of Christ, forgiven, washed, and cleansed by His blood. One who recognizes there is nothing good within themselves-we are now adopted sons and daughters of the King, purchased by Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. This is what puts us on victory ground, and opens heaven to our prayers. None of our works, good deeds, or standing in the community will do this.
If anyone is living in open rebellion, blatant sin-such as adultery, fornication, sexual perversions, witchcraft, etc., they will not see answers to prayer. The only prayer God will hear from a person in open sin, is the prayer of repentance.
I've heard many "testimonies" of those who have said their prayers were answered when they were still in open sin-I line up what these people say with what their lives are telling me. I also know Satan answers prayers-he is the "god of this world", and he has the power to give people what they want in this life-but it is temporal. Those who know their bibles, and have the discernment to see the difference can tell whether these people are receiving their "blessings" from the one true God, or the devil. It's sad to watch some of these people, because these are many of the false teachers out there preaching and teaching false doctrines and there's plenty of people with itching ears who have taken the bait, and are totally deceived. This is why it's so vitally important to stay in the word of God and check what someone is teaching with the scriptures. I include myself in this warning-don't just listen to me, see if what I say is in agreement with the bible.
Some cross reference texts to study on who are the righteous-
the eyes: Deu_11:12; 2Ch_16:9; Psa_11:4; Pro_15:3; Zec_4:10
his ears: 2Ch_7:15; Psa_65:2; Pro_15:8, Pro_15:29; Joh_9:31; Jas_5:16
but: Lev_17:10, Lev_20:3, Lev_20:6, Lev_26:17; Psa_80:16; Jer_21:10; Eze_15:7
I'll finish this with what Adam Clarke gives us for insight on verse 12, because it sums up well what the hindrances are to prayer, and the solutions:
The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous - That is, He is continually under God’s notice and his care; God continually watches for him and watches over him, and he is under his constant protection.
And his ears are open unto their prayers - The original is very emphatic: The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears to their prayers. The righteous man ever attracts the Divine notice, and wherever he is, there is the ear of God; for, as every righteous man is a man of prayer, wherever he prays, there is the ear of God, into which the prayer, as soon as formed, enters.
But the face of the Lord - Far from his eye being upon them, or his ear open to their requests, (for prayer they have none), his face, his approbation, his providence and blessing, are turned away from them; and he only looks upon them to abhor them, and to turn the arm of his justice against them.
Lastly, a quick list of hindrances to prayer that is prevalent in the churches today:
1. Apathy/Unbelief/Laziness-people have no desire to really know God, to get to know who He really is. If they did, and spent any time studying his Word, this country, and this world would be vastly different. There would be active prayer sessions in the churches-and the people would be hungry for His presence. That only comes from the honest desire to spend time with Him, and want to receive His instructions/guidance/correction. The truth is, most people do not believe their prayers will be answered, have little or no faith to believe for an answer, and have no desire to seek for those answers. The game parlor's, movie houses, video game stores, and entertainment industry has their attention, their money, and that's what has taught them their belief system-which is the world's power and money. They are given over to the "god of this world".
2. False teachings-which leads people away from the Lord, and causes many to walk into deception and apostasy. The saddest thing about this is those who are in this place are as the Pharisee's-they think they are righteous, without sin, and are the many leaders of churches today-leading other's into perdition-because the majority of people in the pews do not read their bibles, do not know what their listening to, and do not really want to know the truth-they only want to be told how good they are, and be patted on the back. They are happy in their apathetic state.
3. Party spirit-saturated in entertainment-they have no time or desire for God really. They go to church, and events but spend very little time in serious prayer before God, and those who do are considered fanatics-and suspected of being mentally ill. Video games, computer games, social events, community action groups, sports, coffee houses-and those attached to the churches-are now what is going on in most churches. Serious, prevailing intercession, and warfare prayer is almost non-existant. I do not see this getting any better-it will continue to get worse, and the apostasy will worsen. This is the falling away spoken of by Paul in Thessalonians.
Using these guidelines over the years, has been invaluable to me as an intercessor who desires an open heaven-knowing the Lord hears them. You may find them helpful in your walk with the Lord. Shalom
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No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the
Son of God?
But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Whole Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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